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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FARENTHOLD. I move to strike the last word.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment because I'm seeing what I consider to be an alarming trend in government right now. We have Eric Holder in Fast and Furious, the Justice Department failing to cooperate with multiple committees of this Congress.

Right now, as we speak, there's a hearing going on in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, with the TSA potentially having misled Congress over the waste and abuse of dollars warehousing security equipment in Dallas, Texas.

We're standing here today while whistleblowers who are trying to do what's right for this government are being retaliated against. We're standing here today while families like those of Agent Brian Terry, who was a victim of the Fast and Furious scandal, Agent Jaime Zapata, a constituent of mine who was killed in the line of duty in Mexico, and the families of many Mexican citizens who were killed as a result of these gun-running operations with these weapons.

This is an alarming trend in government that we have got to put a stop to. We do not need to be financing government agencies. Our employees, the people's employees, we do not need to be paying them to stall, to lie, to mislead. It is absolutely unacceptable.

In the private sector, when an employee acts this way, we have a real quick solution. We quit paying them and we fire them. Unfortunately, it's a little more complicated here in the government, especially when you get to a Cabinet-level official.

Yes, we have our remedies. We have contempt of Congress. We have criminal prosecution. And in the case of a Cabinet-level official like Mr. Holder, it could eventually get to impeachment, depending what we find out. The Constitution provides the ultimate remedy there.

But the lifeblood of the Federal bureaucracy is money. We have got to cut off the money to the employees, like Eric Holder, who stonewall, at best, and lie, more likely. We need government officials who own up to their mistakes.

My colleague here, Mr. Gowdy, was talking about the fact there's not a single email after a certain date for Mr. Holder. I'd like to remind the Chair and the American people that what gets you in this country, 9 times out of 10, is the coverup. The American people are willing to live with a mistake, but they are not willing to live with a liar, and this amendment cuts off funding to the liars in our Federal Government. So I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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